Governor Andrew Cuomo today declared a state of emergency for the following counties as the latest winter storm crosses the State: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Wayne and Wyoming. The National Weather Service declared a Blizzard Warning for these counties.

The storm is expected to bring significant snowfall from Wednesday into Thursday in the Western, Central, Capital and North Country regions of the State. As part of the State of the Emergency, the Governor ordered the activation of the State’s Emergency Operations Center at 6:00 a.m. this morning. Staffing at the EOC include personnel from NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, New York State Police, Thruway Authority, Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Conservation and the Public Service Commission.

“With arrival of this latest winter storm , I am declaring a state of emergency in the regions where a Blizzard Warning has been issued, so that we can effectively respond to the storm and aid communities that may experience difficulty as a result of high snowfall,” Governor Cuomo said. “These areas are expected to continue to receive heavy snow that may accumulate at rates of around one to two inches per hour, which will make it difficult for plows to keep some roads clear. New Yorkers in these areas should exercise caution until the worst of the storm has passed.”

Under a State of Emergency, critical resources that are normally restricted to State use are mobilized to assist local governments and laws and regulations that would otherwise impede their rapid response are suspended.